Arts

Around the Nation
1:34 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

Kennedy Center's New Organ No Longer A Pipe Dream

After years of waiting, the Kennedy Center has a new symphonic organ replacing its old Filene organ. The $2 million project will culminate in the organ's debut on Nov. 27. William Neil (left), the National Symphony Orchestra organist, speaks with NSO Assistant Conductor Ankush Kumar Bahl (center) during the organ's test with the orchestra on Oct. 18.
Kainaz Amaria NPR

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 8:16 am

It was almost spooky. Each night after 11 p.m., when nothing was stirring in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall, two men would enter. One would sit at the organ, playing a key or series of keys, and the other would crawl around inside the organ pipes, 40 feet off the floor. The process went on for months.

It was the all but final phase of installing a new organ for the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. And on Nov. 27, the organ makes its formal debut.

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Deceptive Cadence
1:30 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

Do Orchestras Really Need Conductors?

Does This Guy Matter? Conductor Leonard Bernstein during rehearsal with the Cincinnati Symphony at Carnegie Hall in 1977.
James Garrett New York Daily News via Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 9:12 am

Have you ever wondered whether music conductors actually influence their orchestras?

They seem important. After all, they're standing in the middle of the stage and waving their hands. But the musicians all have scores before them that tell them what to play. If you took the conductor away, could the orchestra manage on its own?

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Deceptive Cadence
8:29 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Joyce DiDonato: Sublime Singing Makes The Unreal Real

Mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato.
Josef Fischnaller courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 11:24 am

It's true — opera is totally over the top. Plots can strain even the barest semblance of credulity (too many cases of ghosts and mistaken identities to count), with characters that could get you thrown out of an introductory writing course, down to the blushing ingenues and the evil connivers who might as well be twirling waxed mustaches.

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Winter Book Series
6:28 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Four Prescriptions For Cabin Fever

If you suffer from cabin fever during cold weather, WNIJ offers something that's good for what ails you. We have invited four writers to be part of our Winter Book Series, which airs Wednesdays in December during Morning Edition. This is the second time this year we have introduced you to authors from northern Illinois. (You might remember our Summer Book Series from last June.)

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Deceptive Cadence
3:04 pm
Fri November 23, 2012

Missy Mazzoli: A New Opera And New Attitude For Classical Music

As a young classical composer, Missy Mazzoli borrows music and business strategies from the indie rock world.
Stephen Taylor

Originally published on Sat November 24, 2012 3:36 am

Missy Mazzoli, a 32-year-old composer from Brooklyn, says she never wanted to write an opera until she read the journals of Isabelle Eberhardt, a Swiss adventurer from the turn of the 20th century. Oddly enough, Mazzoli first learned about Eberhardt while listening to NPR. Years later, she stumbled upon the explorer's journals in a bookstore.

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Music
2:51 am
Thu November 22, 2012

'Don Giovanni' To 'Nixon In China': Holiday Feasts In Opera

President Nixon pardons a turkey in 1969. There's quite a celebratory banquet scene in the John Adams opera, Nixon in China.
Nixon White House Photographs Series The U.S. National Archives via Flickr

Originally published on Thu November 22, 2012 3:45 am

As you prepare to feast upon cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie and your choice of entree this Thanksgiving, there's also an operatic feast to be had.

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Deceptive Cadence
3:04 pm
Wed November 21, 2012

Max Richter Recomposes 'The Four Seasons'

Composer Max Richter's new album takes on Vivaldi's Four Seasons.
Erik Weiss Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 4:57 pm

Composer Max Richter has done a brave thing for any artist in any medium: He's messed with a classic, specifically, Vivaldi's four violin concertos known as The Four Seasons. He has a new album simply titled Recomposed by Max Richter: Vivaldi, The Four Seasons.

Richter says that as a child, he loved The Four Seasons. But as he grew older, that passion faded.

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Deceptive Cadence
11:03 am
Wed November 21, 2012

Ode To Joy Of Cooking

Pablo Helguera

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 11:12 am

Got an idea for a classical cartoon, or a reaction to this one? Leave your thoughts in the comments section.

Pablo Helguera is a New York-based artist working with sculpture, drawing, photography and performance. You can see more of his work at Artworld Salon and on his own site.

Deceptive Cadence
9:37 am
Wed November 21, 2012

Classical Crib Sheet: Top 5 Stories This Week

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Chopin, whose Ballade No. 1 in g minor is one of the "musical moments" that inspired a New York Times series.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 12:29 pm

  • In the New York Times this week, Anthony Tommasini has a series in both print and video about those microcosmic musical moments like "a fleeting passage, a short series of chords, some unexpected shift in a melodic line — when something occurs that just grabs us." What links these diverse bits from Chopin to Puccini to Mahler together?
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